Tag Archives: Nil

Nil on Fire (Nil #3) – Lynne Matson

Nil on Fire (Nil #3) – Lynne MatsonTitle: Nil on Fire (Nil #3) by Lynne Matson
Publishing Info: May 31, 2016 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 18, 2016
Related Posts: Nil (Nil #1), Nil Unlocked (Nil #2)

Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As Skye fights to keep her mind intact, she realizes that to finally break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.
Who will return to Nil, and in the end, who will survive? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher: everyone's fate hangs in the balance, including Nil's own--and Nil will fight to the death. When the full force of the island is unleashed, Skye faces an impossible choice, a cruel one she'd never imagined she'd have to make. Soon one Nil truth becomes painfully clear: only one side can win.
Losing isn't an option, but winning will cost Skye everything.


I’ve been a big fan of the NIL books since the very first book came out and I totally got those Lost vibes from it! The series has continued to be so much fun, complete with a creepy island, tough teens, and a neat kind of science-fiction that doesn’t rely so much on technology. NIL ON FIRE completed the trilogy and I was lucky enough to read it a little bit early thanks to a review copy from Macmillan!

I will admit — NIL ON FIRE started off a little bit slow for me. One (personal) problem that I had was that I read each book as an advance review copy, meaning I read them before they came out and that put so much time in between each book. I really did enjoy each one but it seemed like the further I got into the series, the harder it became to jump back in without a refresher! Again, a personal issue but if it’s been a while for you, it might be best to peek back into previous books to remind yourself about characters and the last events!

The other issue I had when starting NIL ON FIRE is that it felt like a long time before the action really started to pick up. My thoughts on the progression are kind of spoilery so this may be a big vague when I say that I felt like I was waiting kind of a long time for everything to really start coming together and to move past the introductory part of this book. There was a lot of time spent with feelings and intuitions but I would have loved to see the story move forward as all of that was going on and I felt like it was just standing still for a bit too long. Some of that could have easily been cut down and brought the readers back into the fast-paced excitement!

After those minor speed bumps, the rest of the book was fun and curious in true NIL fashion! I did find myself still missing more of the spotlight on Charley and Thad but I really grew to love Rives quite a bit over the last two books! Skye had a lot of spunk but she wasn’t my favorite character so I wasn’t quite as interested in her chapters of the book. The supporting cast of characters remained fantastic! I love the diversity with Nil-connected characters from all over and I really just love seeing a new team of people coming to work together.

NIL ON FIRE is the final book in the series so it was exciting to really see everything come to a close! It was interesting to see the sort of battle against Nil as the island really came into play (it even had its own POV!) and how the characters went up against it once and for all. The ending was satisfying and exciting and I still have such a fond place in my heart for these books! I think the first book is still my favorite of the series but I think it’s solid all around and one I’ll continue to recommend!


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!




Kept Me Hooked On: Unique sci-fi. Sometimes I get a little tired of so much sci-fi being tech or space-related. I liked that this was a little something different! It does have a sort of paranormal aspect too (I guess? Magical realism? Not sure what to call Nil’s involvement) but there it’s definitely refreshing to read something outside the box!
Left Me Wanting More: Action. I felt like the beginning was lacking a little action for me. There was a lot of dwelling on hunches and feelings and it took me a little while to get into the story.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This is a series I’ll continue to recommend. The books are a lot of fun and I love all the time on Nil! (As scary as it is)



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Nil Unlocked (Nil #2) – Lynne Matson

Nil Unlocked (Nil #2) – Lynne MatsonTitle: Nil Unlocked (Nil #2) by Lynne Matson
Publishing Info: May 12, 2015 by Macmillan
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 28, 2015
Related Posts: Nil (Nil #1), Nil on Fire (Nil #3)

    On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.
Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?


When I first read NIL last year, I was so pleasantly surprised! I went into the book not knowing what to expect and I ended up really, really enjoying it. It was an interesting kind of science-fiction, focusing more on what sort of phenomena may occur in nature and take the world by surprise instead of a man-made or manipulated experiment. The island of Nil really comes alive in book two (no, really. It’s kind of alive) and it added yet another enjoyable layer to this series!

NIL UNLOCKED is told from alternating point-of-views: Rives, a “Nil survivor” who the readers met in book one, and Skye, a girl whose uncle had survived Nil and whose father is obsessed with finding the island. I did find myself missing the two main characters from the previous book, Charley and Thad, at the very beginning but the book quickly swept me away and I was anxious to see what other mysteries Nil had in store. I think my only regret is that I wasn’t able to read these two closer together because I had a hard time remember a lot about Rives and the other kids on the island because I was SO focused on Charley and Thad in the first book.

That being said, I really did appreciate getting to know Rives as a main character in this book. I really enjoyed his personal ties to the island (they seemed much more personal than Charley’s and Thad’s) as well as watching him grow into his new leadership position. Then we get to know Skye who is the other half of the story and she was quite the fireball and a great balance for Rives. Their interactions really kept the story moving and they kept each other alert and hungry for answers. But my favorite new character may be the island of Nil itself. NIL introduced us to the mysteries that may dwell beneath the surface but NIL UNLOCKED really allowed the characters and the readers to explore the deeper secrets. The island of Nil started to really come alive and it was so fun to see the way it shaped the book. When done well, I really enjoy when a setting sort of takes on the role of a character and NIL UNLOCKED really nailed it!

I actually didn’t know that there was a third book going into my read of NIL UNLOCKED… and I actually didn’t realize when I finished it either. I’m not quite sure if I’d categorize this as a series since the plot does continue from book one to book two or companions since the main characters are different but any which way you slice it, the two books out so far really do stand well on their own (though I still advise to read them in order). It’s refreshing to have the feeling that the story can continue and yet the reader isn’t left with gaping holes or giant cliffhangers. There’s always more to explore when it comes to Nil but so far these two books wrap up nicely!

If you’re a sci-fi fan (and I won’t tire of saying it… especially if you’re a fan of LOST), you need to check out these books! It was really refreshing to read this corner of science-fiction with more of nature-focus than futuristic and gadgety. There’s so much happening in this book that the feel ranges from sci-fi to thriller to mystery and there’s even a bit of romance. I really enjoy this series so far and I hope others will keep on picking it up!


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Rives // Character Obsessions: Investigating, Nil, Talla, leading, surviving.
I’m really glad I got to know Rives better in this book! I really enjoyed seeing him step into the leadership role and I think it suited him well. Naturally, he takes a few unnecessary risks but leaders also have to do that sometimes in order to keep making progress. I just really liked his overall personality and I thought he was a great new main character!
Skye // Character Obsessions: Mysteries, survival skills, family.
Skye was a great addition to this series. I really like how she had a connection to Nil without actually being on the island and her perspective brought a lot of knowledge to the characters. Loved how tough she was and she brought a great energy to this book.


Kept Me Hooked On: Different realms of sci-fi. I really liked exploring a landscape that presents mysteries like the island of Nil does. It’s great to see sci-fi in a naturalistic sense — exploring natural phenomena, solving mysteries, a less sterile and formal type of investigation. It was really neat!
Left Me Wanting More: In-my-face science. I did like the answers that we received from this book but I’m always thirsty for more twisty scientific explanations! But I also understand that it’s hard to come up with these sort of plots and have it all make sense!!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

This series has been so much fun for me so far. I’m really looking forward to reading the last book when it comes out and it’s one that I really enjoy recommending!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Blog Tour: NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson | Guest Post + Giveaway!

Nil Unlocked BlogTourBanner

Welcome to the blog tour for
  NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson!

Firstly, many many thanks to Macmillan for asking me to be a part of this tour! I really, really enjoyed NIL when I first read it last year and I just immediately got hooked into this weird, creepy island, the great cast of teens, and an exciting and mysterious adventure. When I found out that NIL was going to have a sequel, I was SO excited and even more jazzed when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour! Lynne Matson is so lovely to work with and talk with and I really wanted to help spread the word about her books!

If you’re not familiar with NIL yet, you probably should be! I keep pitching it as a book for fans of the TV show LOST (really! Especially in NIL UNLOCKED) but if we’re making comparisons, it’s also got hints of Survivor, Gilligan’s Island, and Lord of the Flies… But really NIL and NIL Unlocked stand fine on their own! Lynne Matson does a great job at bringing the characters and the island to life and for both books, I was pretty hooked from start to finish.

For my blog tour stop today, I’m hosting Lynne Matson and she’s prepared a guest post all about the island of NIL itself and how it really starts to play out as a character as well as a place in NIL UNLOCKED!


Today I’m talking about the characters in the Nil world…including the island of Nil itself. *cue creepy music* 😉  

As y’all know, NIL UNLOCKED is a sequel to NIL, and yet, NIL UNLOCKED also a companion novel of sorts. Rives and Skye are the main characters in NIL UNLOCKED, whereas Thad and Charley are the main characters in NIL. Like Thad, Rives is a veteran as far as time served on Nil. Like Charley, Skye is a rookie. But the similarities end there. Unlike Charley, Skye arrives on Nil with loads of inside information (thanks to her uncle who visited Nil in the 80’s) and plenty of training, and she shares Rives’s passion for unlocking Nil’s secrets. It’s their mutual obsession with the island that drives the story. 

But if Rives’s and Skye’s thirst for understanding drives the story, than the island fuels it. 

Because on the most basic level, Nil is the story. 

Through the Nil series, the island is at the core; Nil itself is a character. In NIL, Thad hears Nil, or at least he thinks he does, leaving the reader to wonder if Nil truly is alive. This Nil-as-a sentient-being thread grows in NIL UNLOCKED. Skye’s uncle heard Nil during his time on the island; so do Rives, Skye and Dex during their time on the island. But adding another layer of mystery (or creepy, depending on your point of view lol), Nil doesn’t always use words. But the island definitely has something to say…and something it wants. *shivers* 

So NIL UNLOCKED? It’s full of feels and full of answers. It’s where you meet Skye, where you get to know Rives, and where you unravel the secrets of Nil. It’s the book where you find out what makes Nil—the island—tick. 

Nil is an antagonist creepy enough for an entire series. 🙂 

So there you have it! Brittany, thank you SOOO much for having me on your blog today, and for being such an awesome part of the #NILtribe! 


A big, big thank you to Lynne Matson! So happy to have you on the blog today, Lynne!
So what do you guys think? Creepy, right? Crazy-interesting, right? I hope your curiosity is piqued!

Want to learn more about Lynne Matson and her books? We’ve got the hook-up below!

// Lynne is going on the Fierce Reads tour in May. Be sure to check out the dates and locations.
// Check out the author website.
// Follow Lynne Matson on Twitter!
// Read an excerpt from the book!

And don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!


Thanks to Macmillan, I have a giveaway today! One lucky US winner will win a copy of NIL (paperback) and NIL UNLOCKED (hardcover)! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NIL Blog Tour: Interview with Lynne Matson!

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Welcome to the NIL blog tour, hosted by Fiction Freak! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with author Lynne Matson stopping by for an interview! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about NIL to get yourself acquainted with the book:

Nil by Lynne MatsonTitle: Nil
Author: Lynne Matson
Publishing Info: March 4th 2014 by Henry Holt
Find it on the Web: Goodreads || Amazon ||Barnes and Noble || Book Depository
My Review: Nil – Lynne Matson (posted 2/12/14)

  “On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days–to escape, or you die.
    Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.
    Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.” — From Goodreads

Today, I get to share with you my interview with author Lynne Matson! I’m so excited to have been able to interview her and to share her answers with all of you guys!


Brittany: I loved the unsettling combination of paradise and doom that was the island of NIL and it definitely reminded me of a number of literary and TV show mash-ups! Did you have any strong influences that helped you form ideas for the book?
Lynne Matson: I’m so glad you got the twin vibes of paradise and doom! Hawaii was a big source of inspiration for me; it’s where I saw the contrast of beauty and danger. It’s gorgeous, but surfing there has risks (big waves, sharp rocks) and oh yeah–the island has active VOLCANOES. 🙂 Volcanoes epitomize paradise and doom, don’t they? Islands in general are often packed with gorgeous, but for me, islands always hold a hint of danger . . .and maybe more than a hint. Because when you’re surrounded by water for who knows how many miles, WHAT IF YOU CAN’T ESCAPE?! And what if there’s something else stranded on the island with you?! So much potential for scary awesome when you’re stuck on –or writing about–and island. Sekrit admission: I watched A LOT of Gilligan’s Island as a kid, and their 3 hour tour that turned into a decade long island adventure fascinated me. (So did Ginger’s hair but that’s not important. :D) I think that show always left the viewer asking “what would I do?” And so there’s NIL… 🙂

B: There were quite a few interesting twists in the end! Did you always see that as the final outcome or did NIL surprise you?
LM: Thank you! It may sound crazy, but always knew the ending. When I started writing, I had the beginning and the end…and a rough sense of the middle. And it was the middle twists that surprised me! 🙂 Certain characters deaths, Rives’s insights, and a few other things. 

B: If you were stranded on NIL, what do you think your strategy would be? Which characters would you most likely team up with?
LM: Oh my gosh–if I were stranded on Nil, I’d like to think I’d find a group of other people and not be stuck wandering on my own. (And clothes. I’d pray for clothes… that would be priority number one. 😀 Nobody wants to be running around a strange island naked. right?!) That’s another tricky facet of the island– how to figure it out alone. If each person has to figure everything out on their own each time (like re-inventing the wheel, so to speak), that’s a challenge that must be met before escape is possible. So much information gets lost (and has been lost at the start of the book) due to the “revolving door’ nature of the island, that not only figuring NIL out but helping preserve their findings becomes one of Charley & Thad’s missions. So who would I team up with? Someone who’s a NIL veteran, like Natalie, or Rives. Or Thad. Who wouldn’t want to pair up with Thad?! lol

B: I saw that you used to be an attorney — Was it tough to make the transition to writing? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do or did the story of NIL just hit you?
LM: Writing books is WAY more fun than being an attorney IMHO! 🙂 I’d stepped away from law for a few years before I started writing. I was a stay-at-home mom, doing a little part-time work occasionally for the law firm where I used to work, when I started writing my first book (which was not NIL. :D). I’d always loved writing, since I was little. In high school, I wanted to become a journalist, then during college I switched to law. Looking back, I think it’s because I wasn’t confident enough to go for the writing dream…or maybe I just wasn’t ready yet.:) I always had lots of stories floating in my head–but I never gave them the time they deserved. That finally changed when I was home with the boys; that’s when writing became mine. Creative time just for me…and then I thought: why not go for it? Worst case: I don’t get published, and I’m no worse off that I am now.  But I went for it, and am so glad I did. 🙂


Lynne MatsonAuthor Bio: Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. Back then, Lynne would stay up late, reading Nancy Drew books under the covers (with a flashlight . . . a weak attempt at ninja stealth). Now she still stays up late reading books and writing them. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, you’ll find her listening to music, messing around with paint, or hanging out with her husband and their four boys . . . or all of the above.

Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Blog

A huge thanks to Lynne Matson for the awesome interview! I absolutely loved learning more about the book and the ideas that helped form it! Don’t miss NIL coming out this March at a bookstore near you!


Want to win a copy of NIL? The winner will receive a hardcover copy of NIL and some awesome swag! US & Canada residents only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification before the prize is forfeited to the next person.

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Nil – Lynne Matson

Nil – Lynne MatsonTitle: Nil (Nil #1) by Lynne Matson
Publishing Info: March 4, 2014 by Macmillan
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 18, 2014
Related Posts: Nil Unlocked (Nil #2), Nil on Fire (Nil #3)

    On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.
Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.
Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.


NIL was actually a pleasant surprise for me. I started reading not sure what to expect and I ended up really enjoying so many of the characters and their backstories as well as the mystery of the island of Nil. I was worried that the explanation of its mysteries would be cheesy because for the life of me, I could NOT figure out what was going on but I was very satisfied with the way everything played out!

Before I get into the details, let me tell you that my mind was racing with comparisons as I was reading — definitely in a good way. NIL was a really interesting concept and I kept seeing several mash-ups of my favorite books and TV shows… #1 was Monument 14 meets Lost. NIL has the great action that I loved in Monument 14 and teens of all ages  who are strangers working together to stay safe and survive while at the same time figuring out the mystery of a deadly island. #2 was The Maze Runner meets Gilligan’s Island. The island of NIL has a lot more secrets than we first realize and I loved the comradery that the kids built. #3 was Lord of the Flies meets Survivor. The kids don’t always work well together and… well… sometimes people turn on each other.

One of the things I loved the most about the book was the range of characters we meet. The only humans on the island of Nil are all teenagers and the “gates” that bring people to the islands collect them from all over the world. They have a lot of differences but because they’re all stuck in the same odd and hostile situation, they easily band together to form a (mostly) tight group. Obviously they can’t force everyone to get along so it was interesting the conflicts that arise as well as how each of their “mortality rates” (each person only has 365 days on Nil before Nil takes them (aka, they die)) affects how the group gets along. I really enjoyed the diversity of the characters, both in age range and home country.

The mystery of the island totally stumped me — and that’s a good thing. I really did spend the entire book trying to figure out what in the world was going on and even as the characters were collecting clues, I was still totally in the dark. The best part? It was a GOOD surprise. I think I was so worried about the book because of the way Lost ended up taking a turn. A great TV show with so many mysteries and it turned kind of weird (especially the end) so with that Lost parallel already in my head, I think that’s where most of the fear came from! I wonder if Lynne Matson had been a fan of the show because she definitely didn’t let her readers down and the explanation how of Nil worked was wonderful! There was one main question I don’t think we ever got the answer to but not enough to really feel like I was missing something!

I also really appreciated the romance between Charley and Thad. Cute island boy meets cute island girl? Come on, you know that’s starting a romance. I can understand where people might feel that it’s kind of insta-lovey but it really didn’t come off to me like that at all. There are plenty of instances where I’ve been in their shoes and developed a huge crush right off the bat, then the more you get to know about a person the more you love about them. NIL was totally that. Combine a strong attraction with living with someone and spending all your time with them PLUS he’s your island guide and person who teaches you how to survive this crazy place? Oh, please. Giiiiirl, you are totally falling in love with him. I loved Charley & Thad’s fun and easy-going relationship. They had friendly banter, healthy competition, and really just clicked.

Overall, I really enjoyed his book! I know I went in a little hesitant but I totally had nothing to worry about. It was a really interesting sci-fi book that really stayed in the realm of science fiction and I love that Lynne Matson didn’t throw too much into the book either. I feel like the intricate workings of Nil could have easily gotten complicated and easily saturated with all kinds of science-fiction and paranormal aspects, but the explanation was unique and mostly concise and it totally worked for me!


Charley // Character Obsessions: Figuring out the island, getting to know Thad, the maze.
Charley was awesome. I totally connected with her and granted I’m not almost six feet tall but I get her feelings about being a tall girl! I really liked her a lot in the book too. She wasn’t overly helpless or overly smart or overly strong. I felt like she was really realistic and a girl a lot of people can relate to!
Thad // Character Obsessions: Finding a gate, Charley, leading.
Thad was a really nice male lead as well. I really enjoyed his relationship with Charley as well as his natural charisma and ability to lead a group. I really liked his character a lot and his chemistry with everyone on the island just really felt natural!


Kept Me Hooked On: Islands. Lost made me hesitant about deserted island stories (which I think I just discovered) and NIL totally redeemed that for me! A lot of times the story lines just don’t work for me and Lynne Matson just did such a great job with this book! I won’t doubt so much anymore!
Left Me Wanting More: Science fiction. I really enjoyed the reveal of how the island worked but I also would have liked just a TAD more connection and reveal in the beginning. I think once I found out how everything worked and the explanation why, I was just anxious for more!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I hope readers really enjoy this one as much as I did! I would definitely recommend it!



(Click the cover to see my review!)

        The Forsaken      Unremebered